Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the most common health concerns among adults around the world. It is a condition that adversely affects the arteries in your body. If you have hypertension, a consistently high force of blood pushes against your artery walls, requiring your heart to work harder to pump blood. Generally, the blood pressure reading of hypertension is 130/80 mmHg or higher.
Hypertension is a major health issue that is usually found in older adults. However, did you know that high blood pressure can also occur in young adults and teens? More and more young adults between the ages of 20 to 40 are now seeking help for high blood pressure. To learn more about this issue, here is everything you need to know about the occurrence of hypertension in young adults.
How Common Hypertension is in Young Adults
Although hypertension in young individuals is nothing new, the number of young adults suffering from the condition has been increasing over the last recent years. Nowadays, hypertension among young adults has already become common, affecting about 1 in 8 individuals in that age range. In Singapore, around 15.7% of residents starting from the age of 18 years reported that they had hypertension and were prescribed medication in 2021.
The number of young adults in Singapore affected by high blood pressure sharply increased from 12.7% of patients in 2017. According to health experts, this number is likely to increase with the lowering of high blood pressure diagnostic thresholds and poor lifestyle behaviours.
Among the lifestyle factors that lead to hypertension in young adults and teens include the following:
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Eating too much salt.
- Being obese or overweight
- Undergoing too much stress
- Not getting adequate exercise
Furthermore, unlike in older individuals, hypertension in young adults is more frequently associated with an underlying health issue, such as a blockage in the blood vessels to the kidney and hormonal conditions.
The Meaning Behind Your Blood Pressure Numbers
Blood pressure refers to the force that your blood applies to your artery walls as it is pumped throughout your body. Naturally, your arteries have the ability to withstand some pressure. However, there is a limit to what they can handle. This is why blood pressure is being measured and classified based on how it impacts your health. The four classifications of blood pressure are as follows:
- Normal Blood Pressure: Anything lower than 120/80 mmHg
- Elevated Blood Pressure: Anything between 120 to 129/80 mmHg
- Stage 1 of High Blood Pressure: Anything between 130 to 139/80 to 90 mmHg
- Stage 2 of High Blood Pressure: 140/90 mmHg or higher
How Blood Pressure Affects Your Overall Health
Take note that of the four classifications of blood pressure, only normal blood pressure is deemed healthy. If you have high or elevated blood pressure, it can damage your arteries by narrowing and hardening them, which may then limit the normal flow of your blood. It can also cause damage to your heart as it is forced to pump harder. Over time, this can cause your heart muscle to thicken, making it more difficult for your heart to fill with and pump blood.
Moreover, long-term research studies show that even if you are only in your 20s or 30s, having high or elevated blood pressure substantially increases your risk of developing severe health conditions later in life. Uncontrolled hypertension, specifically, is a significant risk factor for heart conditions in middle age. It is one of the leading causes of death in Singapore, which is why hypertension is sometimes called a “silent killer.”
Hypertension affects more than just your physical health; it can also hurt your financial well-being. An individual with hypertension usually spends around $2,000 per year on health costs and associated medications. These costs may even skyrocket if the hypertension is uncontrolled and severe medical problems result. Hence, even if you are still young, it is crucial to consult a doctor the moment you experience symptoms of high blood pressure.
An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the main risk factors for hypertension. In today’s fast-paced world, where people resort to poor lifestyle habits to keep up with their careers, it is no surprise that high blood pressure is becoming increasingly common among young adults. And if left uncontrolled, this condition can result in even more serious health problems that can significantly impact both your physical and financial health.
Therefore, if you suspect that you have hypertension, it is best to always consult a medical professional right away! The MyCLNQ app is here to assist you in finding reliable medical experts for your high blood pressure. The MyCLNQ app provides a variety of healthcare services that you can easily access with just a few button clicks.
The services you can avail of using the MyCLNQ app include virtual medical consultation, a health screening package, private ambulance services in Singapore, and more. If you find yourself experiencing lesser-known symptoms of COVID-19, MyCLNQ also offers tele ART tests. Feel free to contact us today to learn more.